There’s a conversation happening around the world right now. It’s about women and their place in society, particularly in relation to men, particularly in certain industries. For most feminists, this is a big step forward — even if it sometimes feels like society is regressing — and a movement to be fostered. But not everyone wants brands to participate.
Critics are calling out Dior for trying to ride on the coattails of the recent feminist movement, much of which is categorized under the #MeToo and #TimesUp hashtags. The luxury fashion brand showed their 2018 fall/winter collection in Paris in a decidedly feminist setting, complete with a huge banner that read “Women’s rights are human rights” alongside floor to ceiling posters and photos of women protesting.
Naturally, not everyone was buying it, so to speak. Fashion blogger Bryanboy commented on the show’s theme on Twitter, calling out the in-your-face messaging.
I honestly wish they’d follow Gucci’s lead of donating money to. cause they believe in. It’s one thing to use fashion as a platform to express a message and for that she already did twice i believe. Now it’s just profiteering from being “woke” which tbh… sour taste in the mouth
— bryanboy (@bryanboy) February 27, 2018
Others point out that brands should show rather than tell about their commitment to a political cause.
i’m so tired of reading about “political fashion,” which should be identified not on a runway but in the wages and working conditions of brands
— Hazel Cills (@hazelcills) February 28, 2018
Dior has tried to put a price tag on feminism in the past, releasing a $915 t-shirt with the words “We should all be feminists” displayed on the front last year. The cotton top comes in both black and white and has been available for purchase at Saks for some time now.
In fairness, Dior has been donating a percentage of the proceeds from sales of the t-shirts to the Clara Lionel Foundation, Rihanna’s nonprofit supporting education, health and emergency response programs around the world. (Though they don’t specify how much is actually being donated, which feels a bit weird.)
Still, when you remove the slogan from the front, you’re left with a $915 t-shirt, which, even with the Dior label and some proceeds going to charity, doesn’t seem like such a great deal. To paraphrase Macklemore, “915 dollars for a t-shirt? That’s some ignorant s***.”
But Dior certainly isn’t the first brand to encroach on this momentous movement–remember when beauty brand Hard Candy tried to trademark #MeTOO earlier this year? Yeah, that didn’t go over well.
The question becomes, are these brands contributing to the conversation and forwarding the movement, or just trying to get some good publicity while the getting’s good?